Problems with Painting

I am attempting to begin painting again.


I say attempt because the process strikes me as being an incredibly difficult one, fraught with all sorts of impediments along the way. Perhaps I have become used to ‘making’ rather than painting of late, and the different journey traversed in order too make real an idea or a vision with paint rather than other means, has come as quite a shock.

Painting per se has undergone a banishment into the back streets of artistic endeavors in recent years, yet even more recently has recovered its place in a rather ambiguous revival, which now seems acceptable as a modern-day artistic means of expression. However, I am not truly convinced by this notion, as I cannot still the quote that haunts me ‘Painting is Dead’ and this is certainly a disadvantage when there I am in my studio with such thoughts buzzing around my head.

As I began my art college career so very long ago, painting was indigenous to the curriculum and training that we as students received. I can’t honestly think of any other approach being taken by anyone around me. A sculpture was not colored but white plaster, or a cast of one sort or another. Today’s many-faceted approaches that cover so many more possible means of production and technique add to the intricate web of choice, concerning what to make and how to make it.

Yes, I do feel pulled in two directions by taking up the brush again, almost as if I am regressing or returning to a default position, yet at the same time, I feel compelled to return. Therefore I’ll plug on and see what comes of it. D.H. Lawrence has written of how terrified he felt when faced with the blank white page. To him, it was akin to entering the lion’s den. I can relate to this feeling, when alone in my studio I face the preverbal white canvas. Ultimately, I guess it takes a leap of faith to begin a ‘journey’ where there are no rules, no signposts and no clear end in sight.


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